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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spain : University and Historic Precinct of Alcalá de Henares (1998)


Founded by Cardinal Jiménez de Cisneros in the early 16th century, Alcalá de Henares was the world's first planned university city. It was the original model for the Civitas Dei (City of God), the ideal urban community which Spanish missionaries brought to the Americas. It also served as a model for universities in Europe and elsewhere.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spain : Old Town of Ávila with its Extra-Muros Churches (2007)


Founded in the 11th century to protect the Spanish territories from the Moors, this 'City of Saints and Stones', the birthplace of St Teresa and the burial place of the Grand Inquisitor Torquemada, has kept its medieval austerity. This purity of form can still be seen in the Gothic cathedral and the fortifications which, with their 82 semicircular towers and nine gates, are the most complete in Spain.

Spain : Old City of Salamanca (1988)


This ancient university town north-west of Madrid was first conquered by the Carthaginians in the 3rd century B.C. It then became a Roman settlement before being ruled by the Moors until the 11th century. The university, one of the oldest in Europe, reached its high point during Salamanca's golden age. The city's historic centre has important Romanesque, Gothic, Moorish, Renaissance and Baroque monuments. The Plaza Mayor, with its galleries and arcades, is particularly impressive.

Spain : Works of Antoni Gaudí (1984)


Seven properties built by the architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926) in or near Barcelona testify to Gaudí’s exceptional creative contribution to the development of architecture and building technology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These monuments represent an eclectic, as well as a very personal, style which was given free reign in the design of gardens, sculpture and all decorative arts, as well as architecture. The seven buildings are: Casa Vicens; Gaudí’s work on the Nativity façade and Crypt of La Sagrada Familia; Casa Batlló; Crypt in Colonia Güell.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Australia : Sydney Opera House (2007)





Inaugurated in 1973, the Sydney Opera House is a great architectural work of the 20th century that brings together multiple strands of creativity and innovation in both architectural form and structural design. A great urban sculpture set in a remarkable waterscape, at the tip of a peninsula projecting into Sydney Harbour, the building has had an enduring influence on architecture. The Sydney Opera House comprises three groups of interlocking vaulted ‘shells’ which roof two main performance halls and a restaurant. These shell-structures are set upon a vast platform and are surrounded by terrace areas that function as pedestrian concourses. In 1957, when the project of the Sydney Opera House was awarded by an international jury to Danish architect Jørn Utzon, it marked a radically new approach to construction.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lithuania : Archaeological Site of Kernave Stamps 2010


The World Heritage Objects. Archaeological Site of Kernave.
Date of issue: 7th August 2010
Designer: R. Jucaitis
Paper: chalky
Printing process: offset
Perforation:comb 14
Size ofa stamp: 30 x 34,50 mm.
Miniature Sheet composition: 9 (3 x 3) stamps
Printing run: 153.000 stamps or 17.000 Miniature Sheets
Michel catalogue numbers: 1045-1046

3 Lt. multicoloured. The archaeological site of Kernavė.
3 Lt. multicoloured. The archaeological site of Kernavė.

Netherlands : Defence Line of Amsterdam (1996)


Extending 135 km around the city of Amsterdam, this defence line (built between 1883 and 1920) is the only example of a fortification based on the principle of controlling the waters. Since the 16th century, the people of the Netherlands have used their expert knowledge of hydraulic engineering for defence purposes. The centre of the country was protected by a network of 45 armed forts, acting in concert with temporary flooding from polders and an intricate system of canals and locks.

Netherlands : Rietveld Schröderhuis / Rietveld Schröder House (2000)


The Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht was commissioned by Ms Truus Schröder-Schräder, designed by the architect Gerrit Thomas Rietveld, and built in 1924. This small family house, with its interior, the flexible spatial arrangement, and the visual and formal qualities, was a manifesto of the ideals of the De Stijl group of artists and architects in the Netherlands in the 1920s, and has since been considered one of the icons of the Modern Movement in architecture.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spain : Historic City of Toledo

Successively a Roman municipium, the capital of the Visigothic Kingdom, a fortress of the Emirate of Cordoba, an outpost of the Christian kingdoms fighting the Moors and, in the 16th century, the temporary seat of supreme power under Charles V, Toledo is the repository of more than 2,000 years of history. Its masterpieces are the product of heterogeneous civilizations in an environment where the existence of three major religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – was a major factor.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spain : Monastery and Site of the Escurial, Madrid (1984)

Built at the end of the 16th century on a plan in the form of a grill, the instrument of the martyrdom of St Lawrence, the Escurial Monastery stands in an exceptionally beautiful site in Castile. Its austere architecture, a break with previous styles, had a considerable influence on Spanish architecture for more than half a century. It was the retreat of a mystic king and became, in the last years of Philip II's reign, the centre of the greatest political power of the time.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lithuania : World Heritage Sites – Vilnius Historic Center

Vilnius_Historic_Center1
The Church of St. John's

Vilnius_Historic_Center 2
The Gate of Dawn

In 1994, Vilnius Historic Center was inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List. From the 13th century until the end of the 18th century, the Vilnius Old Town used to be the political centre, and in the 16th century it became the scientific and cultural centre of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Old Town of Vilnius has developed into a historic city from the city plan, which existed from the 14th until the 16th centuries.
Vilnius has grown in a special historic and natural environment surrounded by castles and the Neris and Vilnia Valleys. The Old Town represents an excellent blend of Eastern and Western cultures with an impressive complex of authentic Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classicism buildings of defensive, dwelling, representative and sacred nature.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Spain : Spain - Historic Centre of Cordoba (1984)


Cordoba's period of greatest glory began in the 8th century after the Moorish conquest, when some 300 mosques and innumerable palaces and public buildings were built to rival the splendours of Constantinople, Damascus and Baghdad. In the 13th century, under Ferdinand III, the Saint, Cordoba's Great Mosque was turned into a cathedral and new defensive structures, particularly the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos and the Torre Fortaleza de la Calahorra, were erected.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Spain : Cathedral Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville (1987)

Together these three buildings form a remarkable monumental complex in the heart of Seville. The cathedral and the Alcázar – dating from the Reconquest of 1248 to the 16th century and imbued with Moorish influences – are an exceptional testimony to the civilization of the Almohads as well as that of Christian Andalusia. The Giralda minaret is the masterpiece of Almohad architecture. It stands next to the cathedral with its five naves; the largest Gothic building in Europe, it houses the tomb of Christopher Columbus. The ancient Lonja, which became the Archivo de Indias, contains valuable documents from the archives of the colonies in the Americas.

Spain : Burgos Cathedral (1984)

Our Lady of Burgos was begun in the 13th century at the same time as the great cathedrals of the Ile-de-France and was completed in the 15th and 16th centuries. The entire history of Gothic art is summed up in its superb architecture and its unique collection of works of art, including paintings, choir stalls, reredos, tombs and stained-glass windows.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Romania : Wooden Churches of Maramureş (1999)


These eight churches are outstanding examples of a range of architectural solutions from different periods and areas. They show the variety of designs and craftsmanship adopted in these narrow, high, timber constructions with their characteristic tall, slim clock towers at the western end of the building, either single- or double-roofed and covered by shingles. As such, they are a particular vernacular expression of the cultural landscape of this mountainous area of northern Romania.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Lithuania : Curonian Spit (2000)

Human habitation of this elongated sand dune peninsula, 98 km long and 0.4-4 km wide, dates back to prehistoric times. Throughout this period it has been threatened by the natural forces of wind and waves. Its survival to the present day has been made possible only as a result of ceaseless human efforts to combat the erosion of the Spit, dramatically illustrated by continuing stabilisation and reforestation projects.

Lithuania : Kernavė Archaeological Site (Cultural Reserve of Kernavė) (2004)

The Kernavė Archaeological site, about 35 km north-west of Vilnius in eastern Lithuania, represents an exceptional testimony to some 10 millennia of human settlements in this region. Situated in the valley of the River Neris, the site is a complex ensemble of archaeological properties, encompassing the town of Kernavė, forts, some unfortified settlements, burial sites and other archaeological, historical and cultural monuments from